Sex Is Comedy is a French film that was written and directed by Catherine Breillat. The story follows a director (played by Anne Parillaud) and her troubles while attempting to successfully film two intimate and meaningful sex scenes. The main problem is that they both can't stand each other. To complicate matters, the French director is having an affair with one of the actors.
The movie starts with a beach scene during summer that is actually being filmed on a colder day that is out of season. The crew is wearing jackets but the actors are freezing in swimsuits. All the same, she encourages them to be more passionate and sincere, despite the fact that they are so cold.
The assistant director tries to hold it together but the director and actors seem to exist in their own struggling world. The sound man is exasperated and says that the director always chooses the male leads for their looks and is then disappointed with the results.
The male lead (played by Gregoire Colin) and female seem to know each other and are exaggerating their hatred in order to get out of doing the intimate scenes.
The second sex scene is in bed, but also seems to be haunted by the lack of any chemistry. The director finally climbs into bed with the leading man to rehearse. This goes on for almost a half hour - as observed by the assistant director, trying to keep the production on time.
The bed scene becomes complicated further since they are using a ridiculously large artificial phallic device, doubling for the actor. The actor is shown walking around the set with this device hanging out of a dressing gown.
As the director shoots more takes, the crew's frustration grows. At one point, a breakthrough occurs and the actress becomes hysterical, which seems to work for the sex scenes. The director is obviously pleased. It would seem that it is just as important for the director to be aroused as it is the actors.